Monday, January 29, 2007

My Latest Thoughts On the Potential Barack Obama Candidacy...


  • I commend Barack for not allowing the media's (and on many occasions, our) interpretation of what a black politician should be to consume his political platform. From the moment he stepped on the stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he has professed that race relations aren't a white or black issue, but rather an American issue. I find that most people believe race issues to be racially partisan, either something blacks have to overcome or get over, or something white folks should pay for.
  • It seems a bit odd and counterproductive that black voters will only vote for a black principle if and only if he vows to make sure all that is politically black becomes law. If he cannot or will not mortgage his political future or "sell in," so to speak, they'll vote for the richest white Democrat. Never mind the fact that the symbolism of having an open-minded, liberal leaning black President is probably worth an extension of affirmative action in and of itself (you'd be surprised how much it boils down to said extention for most of the black folks I come in contact with).
  • I still think Barack should wait for the next election cycle, and he still may indeed wait. But now that he looks more certain than ever to throw his hat in the ring, I will be watching two things in particular:

    • I want to see if Barack has the testicular fortitude (haha!) and the political wherewithal to gain control of the political collateral (read: white votes) needed to win.

    • I want to see how blacks (and especially our so-called black leaders) respond to the first legitimate black presidential candidate.


    Through these points, it should become clear whether he can indeed straddle that ever so sharp line without slicing himself in half...

2 comments:

Solgenique said...

I'm curious since I keep hearing this from Obama supporters, what's the advantage in waiting 'til the next round of presidential elections? America's just looking for a rebound relationship after the Republicans? Too much media exposure? Don't think he can win? Don't think he can handle Iraq? Needs more experience? Needs another book?

What's the strategery here?

I want to see how blacks (and especially our so-called black leaders) respond to the first legitimate black presidential candidate.

At the risk of sounding divisive, I want to see how black leaders respond to the fact that the "first legitimate black presidential candidate" not only has a white mother, but whose father is Kenyan, not a descendant of enslaved American blacks. People make it sound like the key to his winning is being palatable to whites.

The man's a paragon of non-threatening black masculinity!

I'm more concerned about his ability to capture the black vote for the reason stated above and the fact that I've heard one too many "Ya see, a brotha couldn't be no president, cuz he'd want to put Air Force One... ON DUBS!! Y'ALL KNOW WHADI'M TOMBOUT!" << Cue laughter>>

I hear from black folks that: he should wait to run; he shouldn't run cuz he might get killed; he's the "Great Black Hope" and there's too much riding on his win; if he gets elected then White America will use that as evidence that there's no racism in the US; they just want to put a black man in office to be the fall guy for Iraq! Black America likes the idea of a black president, but I don't think we believe in it.

What this man needs is for people to stop concentrating on his color and start focus on his politics on national issues such as...

Oh, wait, that would require him to actually have a platform.

Brother Spotless said...

"What this man needs is for people to stop concentrating on his color and start focus on his politics on national issues such as..."

Solgenique, do you really think that will happen before the 2008 election? If he is able to show America that he is the 1st post-Vietnam candidate, he will be able to offer a wide range of fresh ideas and ideals that no other candidate can offer. It could also help take the attention away from race, but that may be wishful thinking...

"At the risk of sounding divisive, I want to see how black leaders respond to the fact that the "first legitimate black presidential candidate" not only has a white mother, but whose father is Kenyan, not a descendant of enslaved American blacks."

I never thought about that before, but I can see that as being a reason why black support of this man has been...well...lacking.

"People make it sound like the key to his winning is being palatable to whites."

While Barack is non-threatening to whites, in order to win he has to show that he's also going to be America's President, not simply the black President. From speaking with white folks, he has not made that (or much of anything, for that matter) clear. And since the vast majority of the voting poulation is white, best believe the next President will be to the liking of the general white population.

"Black America likes the idea of a black president, but I don't think we believe in it."

BINGO!!